Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Return of Charles Sinetre


Last time on these pages I screamed ‘Cry Our Beloved Alleluya Band’ basically I wanted to argue that our modern history of digital music, will not be better told from the beginning if it does not start from Alleluya Band.
I had indicated that no bands that used to play before the multiparty dispensation could compare with Alleluya Band; such bands were like the Likhubula Dance Band, which was backing Robert Fumulani, there were also Police Orchestra, the MBC Band and the Chichiri Queens and uncountable local artist.
There was also talent within the country but there was no knowledge of how one could put his talent into musical product through a recording studio.
Bands used to go to one and only place where the Malawian music was played and therefore this is where they used to listen to their music and for that reason, they knew that bands used to record there because there was nowhere else and this was at the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation MBC studios.
The music was also being recorded merely for MBC airplay because it was being stored on reels, which was something that could not be taken on the market for sale?
At least it was only the emergence on the scene of Alleluya Banda from Balaka, led by the agile guitarist hands of Sir. Paul Banda, that led people to realise several things about what can happen with music.
Then there is the list of the country’s most accomplished artists, you mention artists like Charles Sinetre, Coss Chiwalo, Isaac Liwotcha, Rod Valamanja, Paul Subiri, che Kachingwe, and the list is just too long to fill the whole page with names.
I want us to talk more about the man who once used to call himself the music ambassador Charles Sinetre.
Then there was total dearth of music from the Music Ambassador, at one time he had gone to a University in Italy, then he was Music Teacher and Trainer at Andiamo Youth Campus especially at its Cecilia Youth Centre.
Then he was Executive Director of a Balaka based Nkhadze Alive Youth Organization (Nayorg), and an aspirant in parliamentary elections.

What was disheartening in all this was the lack of singing from him. Sinetre carved himself a name in the country and across the borders for his multitalented music exploits.

He spearheaded the growth of Alleluya Band and made it to still stand tall even after the departure of the Banda brothers.

Nonetheless, like most band members, he was also doing his solo musical journey and I don’t remember when I last heard or saw a latest album from Sinetre.

Now the singer-songwriter and activist Charles Sinetre is back with yet another album title 'Malawi Googler'.
Don’t you waste time questioning the title, Sinetre is a kind of musician who coins new things, themes, terms and even sound too whenever producing his music. Rember ‘Chimanga Fisi Dollar’ the one he collaborated with Foster Chimangafisi?
If you still have its sleeve, check the innovation that is there to depict the dollar power.
He also has an explanation to his strange inventions, like the reason behind the title he says is to call upon all Malawians to explore the resources that the country can use to make it a country of a place of milk and honey.
He says the main theme of the album is to call upon every Malawian to believe that all other nations of the world have their type of resources that make them independent when put them in optimum use. The music in the album also teaches us that Malawi has the resources that very well utilized will change the nation.
The album is based on the internet engine search called Google where anything that one searches, one gets. He thinks he is going to Google Malawi’s resource base, based on this album.
I am yet to listen to the 12 track album with two songs which he says ia a recap of his last works, 'Kapena Tsiku lina' and ‘Never throw a Stone’ from 'Timasilira' album.
Sinetre knows that Timasirila is one of his best albums no wonder the return to the tracks in it.
Knowing what is pulling who on the market these days, he has also incorporated Dan Lufani in the new album, in tracks 'Timadziwana' and 'Isugugu'.
Like a music teacher and musician developer, he has also feature little known young boy from Khoswe village, Balaka, like he did with that little girl who should be woman now.
When he will be launching the album on October 29 at the Robins Park eight years ago after realising his last solo album ‘Saulo’ what I will be cherishing is not whatever message or kind of music is in the album, but that at least he is back.
Sinetre is one of the modern music pioneers; it was therefore disheartening that his musical career was on its death bed when the man behind it was so active in other adventures. Welcome back Mr. Ambassador, stay and teach the youth now, do not hibernate.

Feedback: drummingpen@columinist.com


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